Saturday, April 29, 2006

Post No. 4 - Homer Simpson's Prayer to The Lord

"Dear Lord: The gods have been good to me. For the first time in my life, everything is absolutely perfect just the way it is. So here's the deal: You freeze everything the way it is, and I won't ask for anything more. If that is OK, please give me absolutely no sign. OK, deal. In gratitude, I present you this offering of cookies and milk. If you want me to eat them for you, give me no sign. Thy will be done." - Homer Simpson

Post No 3 - Heroes 1 - The cause...the purpose.....jump higher than life

I have revered Arundhati Roy, ever since I first read GOST. Though many folks I know find the book platonic and juvenile. I remember finishing the book with a flourish and hoping that if ever I do manage to get published, it must be as close to GOST (I don't mean plagarism ;-) , what with Kaavya Vishwanathan holding sway to our media sensibilities on this issue).

I remember, hearing about her association with NBA (Narmadha Bachao Andolan) somewhere in 2000, and experiencing despise to her cause. It went back to my age old grievance against the political system in India - a democracy that never moved an inch ahead (never mind it constantly regresses!), because of these (kind of ) constant ruminations from within the system. For me, the dam symbolised everything one expected from modern life - infinite water, infinite drain on natural resources, infinite ability to spend......(hows that for a the naievity of a 25 year old).

If I am not wrong, it was around this period, I saw her 'Algebra of Infinite Injustice' in the shelves and cringed on this brand of books, going as far as lamenting her decline from the GOST days.

2005, 5 years had passed, I have leapt in own reckoning in terms of social maturity. I was still very ambivalent on the dam, though my notions on natural resources had drastically changed.

On an impluse, I picked up her 'Lay person's guide to the empire'. I must have finished this smallish book in less than 2 days, and was amazed. Since then, I have read most of her works in this area, and I must admit it forces you to think. Any book that does this, is a book that has far out-delivered its original purpose.

My Arundhati had progressed in my eyes from a Goddess of a writer (during GOST) to a mis-guided cringe of an activist (between 2000-2005) to a person who was much more than a sucessful pop writer. She was an icon, a living being......

I have this infinite sense of envy and awe for someone who can so willingly and completely devote themselves to the a cause, in a situation that seemingly does not satisfy any of their baser instincts (money, power, sex........). Its as if, these folks are one with the cause, this is their purpose in life. I would go in so far to compare Arundhati and the likes to modern day mystics. They have found a cause, a life to live, they have shattered the modern day matrix, seen through the viels of 'fast-talk' that we tend to call as 'our lives'.

When I think about it, I shudder and realise that I would rather be a dead activist, than a corporate charlatan. I imagine, waking up at 40, as the head honcho of a super-company, and, on the other hand as a mystic - who is united with life and a cause......I fervently wish I was the latter.

Life never offers easy choices. It appears to me that the time of my reckoning is not far away.

Till then, Arundhati, please don't stop, continue living, while we facile souls continue to churn in our beds - living at least a wee bit of your life vicariously.